Engagement Marketing: Put Your Library’s Story to Work

Move your library’s marketing strategy from promotion to engagement in this insightful course, by building a marketing campaign that aligns with your library’s goals, with personal coaching from marketing experts—from libraries and beyond.

Live Interactive Sessions on Wednesdays from 2–4 PM ET: May 16 & 30

Bridged with Homework, Online Workshops, and Discussions.Certificate of Completion Provided.

Also available On-Demand! Can’t make a live session? All sessions will be available to you ‘on demand’ following the initial broadcast.

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People love stories. Human moments are what engage us, connect us, and draw us in. Telling your library’s story is a powerful way to engage your audiences and demonstrate its impact. Finding your library’s voice, and profiling the voices of your patrons, can personalize your outreach and enliven your marketing strategy. Through this course you’ll learn how to tell your stories and use varied social media channels, innovative tech tools, and forge crucial partnerships to move your library’s marketing strategy from promotion to engagement.

In addition to the live speaker sessions, you’ll work in small groups with facilitators experienced in engagement marketing to complete assignments, share resources, and participate in active discussion boards that will ignite your thinking and fuel your efforts at your library.

When you attend this interactive online course, you’ll learn from experienced leaders how to:

  • Engage your target audience via storytelling, rather than traditional promotion
  • Develop a strategic marketing plan that suits your library’s needs and budget
  • Use a variety of social media channels, and your stories, to effectively promote your library’s programs and impact
  • Identify partners to build collaborative marketing relationships
  • Employ fresh, tech-based ideas to amplify your library’s story
  • Design effective marketing materials for any format

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over three weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources
  • Access all course content for 6 months after the course ends

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Who should take this course?

Any library professional looking to increase awareness of new and innovative services, create sustained engagement with occasional users and attract first-time patrons. This course is for YOU school librarian trying to connect with parents, YOU academic librarian reaching out to incoming freshman and YOU public librarian trying to do it all!

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical ideas in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to plan ideas for developing a robust marketing strategy for your library.


Guest speakers share their experience in presentations, delivered live via webcast (with recordings available afterward); you can join in the conversation via instant message chat for Q&A.


Facilitators provide one-on-one, written feedback to your assignments. They also answer questions, provide resources, and guide peer group discussion.

Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

SESSION 1: Why Story? Why Now?

2:00-2:30 PM ET

Over the past 25 years Murray Nossel, Ph.D., has shared his listening and storytelling method with thousands of individuals in academic, corporate, organizational, and clinical settings. In this listening and storytelling session, he will share ideas for how to use storytelling to communicate with library users. Starting with the prompt “Why story? Why now?” he will demonstrate his step by step approach for creating powerful and meaningful messages.


Murray Nossel
Murray Nossel, Ph.D.Founder, Narativ; Author, Powered by Storytelling: Excavate, Craft, and Present Stories to Transform Business Communication (2018)

SESSION 2: From Promotion to Engagement: The Impact of User Stories in Library Marketing

2:30-3:00 PM ET

People love stories. These human moments are what engage us, connect us, and draw us in. In this session, you’ll hear ideas for how to create a marketing strategy that moves away from promotion, and toward engagement. You’ll hear tried and tested techniques for learning about your users and understanding their needs, and approaching your marketing via storytelling versus promotion, thereby engaging your audience in an genuine way. This session will also cover establishing your library’s voice in the social media world, as well as why that voice is so key to establishing an authentic and memorable social media presence.


Phillip Higgins
Phillip Higgins
Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, Richland Library (SC)


3:00-3:15 PM ET

SESSION 3: Think Big Marketing on a Small Change Budget

3:15-4:00 PM ET

You don’t need a huge budget to make your library heard. This creative session will take you through ways you can utilize other resources – such as time and staff – to design and execute a successful campaign. We’ll take a look at programs that have used out-of-the-box thinking to approach their marketing initiatives and hear about how libraries have paired tiny budgets with a little ingenuity and developed marketing campaigns that have resulted in dramatic growth. With unexpected ideas – like using sidewalk chalk or LEGOs – libraries have transformed their approaches to marketing. You’ll come away with loads of inspiration you can apply to building your very own marketing strategy using all the tools in your toolbox – even some you may not have known you had.


Suzanne Smith Jablonski
Suzanne Smith JablonskiExecutive Director, Tompkins County Public Library Foundation (NY)

WEEK 2: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

SESSION 1: Next Level Marketing: Innovative Ideas and Tech Tools Anyone Can Execute

2:00-2:45 PM ET

As technology advances, so do your opportunities to market creatively. In this session, an expert from the marketing world will discuss ways you can amplify your library’s voice using fresh, tech-enabled ideas that will catch the eye of your users. Through popular social media channels, branding, media relations, and more, you’ll learn about practical ways you can spread your message and share your library’s story. This session will prepare you to unlock the marketing potential of new media that will draw interest and promote your library, and change the way you think of “marketing materials.”


Cordelia Anderson
Cordelia Anderson, Director of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (NC)


2:45-3:00 PM ET

SESSION 2: The Power of Partnerships

3:00-3:45 PM ET

Learn to access the untapped marketing potential of partnerships in this session that takes you through how to find and choose the right partner for your marketing campaign. You’ll learn how to decide what kind of partnership would be most beneficial for your audience and your story, and how to partner most effectively to get the results you want. You’ll also hear how the right partnership can help connect your services with the needs of your constituents and build awareness of what your library offers in your community.


Geraldine Lin
Geraldine Lin, Marketing & Communications Director, Los Angeles County Library (CA)


Register early and get immediate access to archived video recordings from past courses:

Effective PR & Media Outreach

Colleen TheisenPositions dedicated specifically to Outreach and Engagement can be a vital part of connecting libraries with the patrons they serve, the public, and the media. In this session we’ll be joined by Outreach and Engagement Librarian Colleen Theisen, who has been doing this dynamic work for the last five years at the University of Iowa. She will share how her role has evolved over time and discuss practical concerns about coordinating PR, design, marketing, branding, website design, social media, development, instruction, and exhibition at her library. She’ll also share her insights into her role as liaison within the library system and campus outreach efforts, as well as how to navigate new team structures, new group formation, and even new technologies to be able to communicate and get the work done effectively – including using video to spread your library’s message.

Social Media Marketing 101

Helen ToddSocial media can be one of the most effective marketing tools for your library, but with so many variables to deal with, it can be a tricky environment to navigate. In this session you’ll be asked to consider your library’s voice in the social media world and learn why that voice is so key to establishing an authentic and memorable social media presence. Other fundamentals considered include how to time content sharing, how often to repeat sharing, and how to balance self-promotion with other content. You’ll also learn about how best to interact with other accounts, including how to share others’ content and attribution etiquette, how to handle missteps, how to navigate the complicated world of comments, and how to develop a team with a vision to handle all your social media needs.